2022: The Year for Lakeside Football to Leave Its Legacy


One team, one dream. (Erica Pitman)

The Lakeside football program has always had connotations attached to it—at times positive, at others far more negative. But it’s a new season, and the team has a new mindset. I sat down with Christian M. ‘23 and Kuba H. ‘23 (quarterback and wide receiver/safety respectively), two of the football captains, to discuss their goals, plans, and expectations for this year. 


ZS: To start, what would you say is the general reputation of Lakeside football?

KH: I mean, we know that we’re definitely not the most liked team on campus. That’s not really a secret. It’s been that way since I’ve been here.

CM: I agree. There’s definitely a negative connotation. Some of it is warranted from the past, some of it is just based on football culture in general. But this year, in particular, we’re gonna strive to change that. 


ZS: How are you planning on doing that?

CM: Lengel and the entire coaching staff emphasize education and accountability. Especially as captains, Kuba and I (in addition to Luke L. ’23 and Marcus B. ’23) have taken an active job in mediating chats and conversations amongst people on the team to limit the amount of locker room talk that happens.

KH: Everyone is definitely more vigilant this year with that added sense of responsibility.


ZS: How do you think that this year is going to be different?

CM: In terms of on-the-field, this is definitely the most talented the team’s been in a while. And I think off-the-field, this is the most vocal and most invested group of captains we could have, both about team success and the effect that the team has on the rest of the community.


ZS: Can you catch me up on the football season so far?

KH: Week #1, we lost to Shorewood. We were thin, but that’s not an excuse. Week #2, we just barely lost to Chief Sealth. 100% that should have been a win. Lakeside was in control for the entire game and we just collapsed in the fourth quarter, when they scored two touchdowns. That’s a game we wish we could have back, but it’s in the past now.


ZS: Do you think that increased spirit from the student body helps keep up momentum during games?

KH: It’s a big morale boost to look at the stands and see everyone decked out in maroon and gold and screaming. That’s awesome. As Coach Lengel says, the energy that people on the sidelines show has a direct impact on the players. 


ZS: What impact do you want to leave on the Lakeside football program?

KH: I came to Lakeside as a new ninth-grader. I knew no one. Football was a place with these cool older guys who took me under their wing and made me feel like I belonged. That had an immeasurable impact on me. I want to make sure that’s the same for every young guy who joins football. 

CM: Agreed. I want to continue to build the brothership that we have. I would do anything for the people on that team, and want that culture to continue. I also hope to develop a real winning mentality amongst the players, like a sense of confidence in their ability regardless of what people are saying.


…off the field, this is the most vocal and most invested group of captains we could have, both about team success and the effect that the team has on the rest of the community.

ZS: Do you think there is a major divide between grades within the team?

KH: There is an inherent hierarchy, of course, but we try to diminish that. Everyone on the team plays an intrinsic role in the success of our team, whether or not they are on the field. 

CM: JV and varsity also practice together, which helps in terms of keeping grades and levels of skill integrated. That contributes to how fast talent develops on the team as well, because these new guys come in who are athletic, but are new to football. Then they get paired with people who have been playing for a long time and work together to improve. 


ZS: What is the team’s biggest strength and weakness this season?

CM: Our greatest strength is everyone’s willingness. Especially with these first few games where so many people have been injured or ineligible, people have been motivated to just go out and try something new. Shout out to the freshmen especially. For weakness, we can do a better job of staying focused. We have this idea where you draw a graph and you want to stay in the center, where you’re mentally present. That helps us stay present in the game.

KH: That’s part of the reason we lost to Chief Sealth, and have lost in the past in general. It’s impossible to constantly be in the center of that graph, but we need to be there as much as we can. For strength, same as Christian, everyone is just so ready and enthusiastic to play at a moment’s notice. 


ZS: What is your favorite part of being on the team?

CM: The brotherhood, easily.

KH: If you asked freshman me that question, I probably would’ve said football itself. Now it’s gotta be the brotherhood as well. 


ZS: Any players you want to mention specifically that we should look out for?

KH: There are so many. I am beyond excited about the future of this team. The first that really comes to mind is William A. ’25. As soon as I saw him in a drill, I thought, “this kid is gonna be a dog”. He’s already been getting varsity minutes and he’s only going to keep getting better. 

CM: Another person to highlight is Jimmy P. ’25. He’s already a great blocker, has a great mind for the game, and has good hands. He’s improving so fast and I know he’ll continue. Efe E. ’25 is another to keep in mind. Over the summer, Kuba and I and a few other guys were just working out and throwing and we invited him. Efe was immediately able to compete with us. He has all the tools and I can’t wait to see them come together on the field.

KH: Our junior class is looking loaded too. It’s gonna be sad to leave the team next year, but the coming years are going to be so fun to watch. Offense will be spearheaded by Nisseffo N. ’24 and Matthew Z. ’24, some of the best wide receivers of their age I’ve seen in a while. Thomas E. ’24 will be quarterback, and Noah S. ’24, who’ll be running back, is like a bowling ball. He just bounces off defenders left and right. I love his mentality. 


ZS: What exciting games are coming up?

CM: Definitely going against Nathan Hale on homecoming. That’s my birthday game, too. But I think every game is going to be exciting, no matter the outcome, because now we’ve seen two losses and we don’t like that feeling. We want to win. If nothing else, we want to give our opponents the biggest run for their money possible. 


ZS: Any last things to say about Lakeside’s football program?

CM: This year, all of football but even more so the captains are going to try and get out as a team in support of as many other sports as we can. Get out to soccer games, flood those student sections. Even trying to hit up cross country meets. It’s really important to show that we have these other teams’ back.


ZS: Okay. Switching subjects, as real football players, what are your thoughts on fantasy football?

KH: Love it.


ZS: Do you have teams?

KH: I do.

CM: Me too. I have a love-hate relationship with fantasy. I love it when I’m doing well and hate it when I’m not.


ZS: How are your seasons going so far?

CM: I’m about to be owned.

KH: Same, not good weeks so far. Half my team is injured so this one will be rough as well. 


ZS: Do your leagues have punishments for losing and that sort of thing?

CM: They were trying to do a punishment. I was bought in to the punishment when I thought I was gonna win the league. Now I don’t know if I want to do one. 


ZS: Moving topics, how do you guys feel about Russell Wilson leaving the Seahawks?

CM: I’m so happy he left. Controversial take, but I don’t think Russell Wilson was good for the seahawks. I think he’s a really good game manager, if he has a strong defense. But he wanted too much. He’s great on a rookie contract where he can’t get paid and he can allocate resources to other players.

KH: I hate that I have to agree. Hearing some of the former Seahawks speak out and say that he wasn’t the greatest leader and he was self-centered makes me feel like it wasn’t the greatest fit. Especially post Super Bowl-win, he’s starting to leave his prime, and yet he was still asking for a lot of money.


ZS: What do you think the future of the Seahawks is?

KH: Now’s the perfect time for us to start a rebuild. We can still get a lot of draft capital and get some new players. It was a smart move by the Seahawks front office given the state of the team in general. 


ZS: Thank you for talking with me! Best of luck with the season.